Funding competitions for assistive technology – £500,000

JISC Techdis is running two funding competitions on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The competitions are aimed at technology developers and designed to promote independent learning.

The opportunities, which require organisations to develop feasibility proposals in the area of assistive technology, are part of the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme. The programme encourages innovative solutions to specific public sector needs by engaging a broad range of companies in competitions that result in technology development contracts.

The first SBRI competition; ‘Making Waves,’ is designed to enhance communications, a learned skill and a basic human right. Learners with disabilities though, may lack independence due to an inability to communicate by speech or lack of motor control.

The second; ‘Plain Sailing’ focuses on enabling users to produce and access navigable and personalisable digital information independently, anytime, anywhere, in a user-friendly way.

A total of £500,000 has been set aside, which is likely to fund 3 or 4 contracts in each competition and organisations that may be interested in entering can find out more information at

Additional enquiries can be sent to

Closing date for entries: Noon 15th March 2011.